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Axe Creek Eppalock Newsletter

Incorporating news from the Eppalock Primary School, Axe Creek Fire Brigade & the Axe Creek Landcare Group.

Welcome to the Spring Issue

Edition 44. Spring 2014

Hello again!
Everyone always seems happier when spring arrives! The blossom and flowers are in bloom, the sunshine is more frequent, everyone just seems that little
bit brighter.
Until we realise Christmas is just around the corner!...
When it comes to spending my dollar, I always like to support local
businesses and keep my money in our local economy. The Victorian
government has established an initiative - Support Small Business Day. If you
are interested in learning more, please visit their website.
As always, wed love to receive your contributions for the newsletter, stories,
articles, photos or bits of news. Please send them via email to us at


Community Notice Board

CFA News

Eppalock PS Update

Axe Creek Playgroup

Landcares Latest

Church News

Community News

Kids Corner

Until next time,

Sam Spence
Thank you to this issues
John Wells - Axe Creek Fire

Advertise your Business AND help the Community

If you would like some great local exposure for a reasonable price, then advertise in the
next issue of the Axe Creek Eppalock Newsletter.
Full Page
Half Page


Quarter Page


Fees charged help cover printing costs.

Advertising deadline for future issues:

Summer 2014

Dec 1st

Autumn 2015

Mar 2nd

Winter 2015

May 29th

Spring 2015

Sept 1st

Marie Mannes - Eppalock PS

Gillian Wells - Axe Creek Landcare
Barry Ward - Axe Creek Landcare
Steve Weickhardt - Anglican

Contact us via

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Community Notice Board

Emergency Contact Numbers
Fire, Police & Ambulance


(life threatening or time critical emergencies only)

SES Flood & Storm Emergency

13 25 00

Bushfire Information

1800 240 667

Information & advice about significant fires, total fire bans

Burn Off Notifications

1800 668 511

Poisons Information

13 11 26

Wildlife Rescue Service

0419 356 433

Useful Websites


Vic Roads

Local Churches
St Stephens Anglican & Strathfieldsaye Uniting
920 Wellington St, Strathfieldsaye

School Terms

Combined Service - Sunday Mornings 9am

Family Service - Saturday - 5pm

St Josephs Catholic Church

Cnr Axe Creek & Strathfieldsaye/Eppalock Rds.

Term 1

Sunday Mornings 9am

29 Jan 4 Apr

All Welcome
Term 2
22 Apr 27 Jun
Term 3

Axe Creek CFA

14 Jul 19 Sept
Term 4


6 Oct 19 Dec

Neil Irving-Dusting
5439 6388

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CFA News From Axe Creek Brigade


Every summer carries the risk of fire. Last summer was hot, following good winter rains as a
result grass grew well in spring, and then dried off to provide plenty of fuel in summer. Sue
enough, Victoria experienced large grass fires, such as those at Wunghnu (north of Shepparton), Gisborne, Kilmore, Taradale, and much closer to home Sedgwick.
The Southern Australian Seasonal Bushfire Outlook 2015-15 takes into account long-term rainfall history, and the spring weather outlooks for rainfall and temperatures. Higher temperatures
are forecast for Victoria, bringing the likelihood of an early start to the fire season. The overall
outlook is for an above-average fire season for central, northern and western Victoria. (See
the brown areas on the map.)
Putting it simply, we expect to have plenty of dry grass by early summer. Even if we have
some good falls of rain there will also be hot,
dry spells ideal conditions for fast-running
grass fires.
You'll find below some information about grass
fires, and some general hints for reducing your
risk from fire.
NOW is the time to start preparing. It takes time
to carry out the strategic works needed to reduce the fuel around your home. Even if you
plan to leave on days of high fire danger, sensible preparation will increase the chances that
your house will still be there when you return!


Understanding the risk of grass fires.

Grass fires can start and spread quickly up to 25 km per hour (even faster over short distances).

Grass burns faster than bush or forests.

Grass fires tend to be less intense and produce fewer embers than bushfires, but still generate enormous amounts of radiant heat.

The taller and drier the grass, the hotter it will burn.

The shorter the grass, the shorter the flames, and the easier it is to control the fire.

Short grass (under 10cm) is a much lower risk.

Grass fires can start earlier in the day than bushfires because grass dries out more quickly
when temperatures are high.

Reducing the risk to yourself and your home

The idea is to reduce the fuel around your house and outbuildings. This may not stop a grass
fire completely, but the fire won't be so hot, and therefore it will be easier (and safer) to control.

Keep grass near your home short under 10 cm including along fencelines.

Clear weeds, sticks, leaves and other fuel from around your property.

Remove firewood and rubbish from around your home and fencelines.

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Mature trees

Mature trees can help shield against radiant heat and embers. They must be strategically
located and well managed.

Remove flammables

Remove flammable items from decks and verandahs, such as boxes, furniture and doormats.

Keep grass short

Keep grass cut to less than 10cm.


Keep woodpiles away from the house. Stray fire embers can easily ignite woodpiles.

Store flammable liquids separately

Store flammable liquids away from the house. If possible, use flame-proof containers.

Leaves and twigs

Clear away dry grass, leaves, twigs and loose bark.

Prune shrubs

Prune lower branches of shrubs to separate them from any surface fuels underneath.

Prune shrubs well away from branches of mature trees

Cut back branches

Cut back overhanging tree branches close to buildings.

Garden beds

Do not have large shrubs next to or under windows.

Pebbles and rocks

Use pebbles and rocks in your garden (not flammable mulch).

Roof gutters

Keep gutters and roof areas clear of leaf litter.


If you intend to burn off (grass, undergrowth, bonfire, or whatever) before the fire danger
period, PLEASE ring the Burn-off line before you start.
That way if somebody (such as a passer-by) reports your fire to 000 the operator will have a
record of your burn. She or he can check with you that the fire is under control, rather than
calling out the fire brigade straight away. It saves you embarrassment, and saves our CFA
volunteers a needless call-out. The Burn-off line is 1800 668 511.
The operator will need a few details from you:
Where is your burn-off? (Road, number, and nearest cross road)
When will you light up? (Date and time)
When will you finish? (Date and time)

What are you burning? (Grass, branches, bushes,...?)

How much will you burn? (Area in sq meters, bonfire: how wide and high,...?)
Don't forget to tell the neighbours too!

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Here is a report of a fire
in our district in 1907, before the Axe Creek Bush Fire Brigade was established. Neighbours
rallied to help just as they do today, but now the Brigade is equipped and trained to fight fires

Bendigo Advertiser, 15th January 1907

BUSH FIRE AT AXE CREEK Strathfieldsaye, 14th January.
A serious bush fire broke out about 4 o'clock on Saturday afternoon on the property of Mr.
Robert Powlesland, near Axe Creek, whereby that gentleman lost about 150 acres of grass,
which he had specially saved tor winter feed for his herd of dairy cows, together with about
four acres of standing wheat. Messrs. Dunn Bros. also lost about 70 acres of grass. The residents
for mile [sic] round turned out, and by their united efforts confined the fire, which was fanned
by a south wind, within the properties abovementioned. A watch, consisting of about 30 men,
stopped up all night and yesterday to prevent a fresh outbreak, whilst Messrs Dunn Bros. and
W. Barbour and other neighbours carted water to extinguish the fires burning in the stumps
and posts of the fences, a great number of which have been burned, and the fences levelled
to the ground. Mounted-constable Teague was present, and made inquiries, but he was
unable to account for the origin of the fire.

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Eppalock Primary School

Term 3 has been exciting and very busy. Our students were involved in Sideline basketball and
a football carnival with Axedale Primary School earlier in the term.

National Tree Day

National Tree Day was a hit with Eppalock and
Axedale Primary Schools teaming up to help
the platypus of the Campaspe River by
creating a habitat for native wildlife and
improve the quality of the Campaspe
catchment by planting 200 indigenous trees,
shrubs and grasses. The rain on the day
couldn't dampen the spirits of our eager
planters. Students learnt about the platypus
who inhabit the river.

100 days of school

Our Preps celebrated 100 days of school this term with literacy and numeracy games and we
finished the day off with cupcakes made in the
shape of 100.

Bendigo Art Gallery

In August our students were extremely lucky to be
invited to attend the Body Beautiful In Ancient
Greece exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery.
Students were able to learn about the history of
sculptures, history of the Greek Gods and then
participated in a class at the Gallery.

Book Week
Book Week was celebrated by the students with lots of activities and
students coming along
to school dressed up
as their favourite book
character. Students
dressed up as a wide
range of book
characters, everything
from Harry Potter to Mr

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Science Week
Science Week was celebrated with a
visit from The Teacup Tumble
Production Company. The day was full
of Dimensions in Science. Two clowns
took to the stage taking the students on
an acrobatic exploration of geometry
as they showed students their world of
angles, faces and vertices and giant

Living Green Program

Our Living Green Program at school has been a success and enjoyed by all, learning so
much about the environment around us, gardening and then cooking and using what we
grow. A bush path and a school fire pit were constructed by all grades. Everyone enjoyed
christening the fire with toasted marshmallows! Now that our old school portables have
been taken away the students are thinking and drawing up plans about what we could put
into this new area.

Thank you
Daffodil Day brought a sea of Yellow to our school.
The Junior School Council organised the day and raised
$112.20 for cancer research.

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Axe Creek Community Playgroup


Monday Mornings 9.30am -11am

Friday Mornings
9am - 10.30am
Eppalock PS Old School Building.149 Patons Road Axe Creek
(just a few minutes from Strathfieldsaye)

Morning Tea & activities provided

Gold Coin Donation
For further information please phone (03) 5439 6366

All Welcome

Sunday October 5th, Made

in Australia.

Sausage Sizzle
Club Bowls Available
Bring a Friend
Bring the Family

All Ages Welcome

For more information and to register your interest, please contact

Co-ordinator Adrian - Mobile 0429 943 080

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Latest from Axe Creek Landcare

The Axe Creek Landcare Committee meet at Eppalock Primary School,
in the old staffroom on the first Monday of each month
at 8.00 pm during daylight saving period
or at 7.30 pm for the rest of the year.
We have two or three public meetings during the year, generally with a guest speaker.
Topics in the past have included weeds, pest animals, sustainable soils, gardening, animal husbandry, grasses. We also hold field days, working bees and excursions.
Members of the community are always welcome to attend any meeting!

Making a Living on Twenty-six Acres/ Ten and a half Hectares

The guest speaker at the Axe Creek Landcare AGM was the vice-president, Peter
Greenshields. Peter and his partner Brenda Leed pursue several ventures on their Emu Creek

They arrived about 8 years ago with 5 goats and now have 150 goats and other farm animals
and pets. They also have a large vegetable garden and grow chrysanthemums for the show
they organize.
The goats are purpose bred for milk and meat. Soon after birth the goats are removed from
their mothers and bottle fed by hand. The milking is done by machine but hand feeding
creates quieter goats who are used to human contact.
Various products are made from the milk of the Anglo Nubian and Sannen breeds. From the
milk cheeses and soaps are made. We tasted a beautiful fetta and soft cheese, which can be
bought locally. Peter also demonstrated the soap making.

Peter and Brenda host international students and tourists, through the Farmstay program, who
pay for the pleasure of staying on the farm for a short time!
They are often helped on the property by workers who in exchange for accommodation and
food assist with the farm chores.
They have hosted pre-school and school children including autistic children.
Peter was an instigator of the All Breeds Goat Show which is held regularly in Bendigo.
It is obvious that Peter, along with Brenda, is very busy and their property is very productive.
We all enjoyed his presentation as well as the cheese!

Poo Pile!
Need manure for your garden! Bags available from out the front of
125 Axe Creek Rd at $2.00 each or phone
54393144 for a trailer load at $10-$15.00 per load.

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FERAL PHOTOS COMPETITION ( North Central Chat July 2014)

The organizers are looking for the best images of Australian pest animals and the impacts they
have on biodiversity and agriculture. They accept photos from all locations around Australia
and remote camera photos are also accepted. You can enter up to
five(5) images for the chance to win some great prizes.
The competition closes on 30th September 2014.
To enter, and see some past winning entries , please visit the website
at :
For more details contact Jessica Marsh Network NRM Facilitator
email: OR phone (02) 6391 3907.

Get ahead of the game MouseAlert!

MouseAlert is a new interactive website allowing growers to record and view mouse activity in
their local area in real time, so they can get ahead of the game to avoid crop damage.
Peter West, project leader said Farmers can
record mouse activity in their local area to

inform their community about changes in

mouse numbers or damage, and to find out
when to implement control, sooner rather than
later, before a plague strikes.
The website can be accessed by mobile devices when in the field. Users can also create online groups and share their observations of mouse
activity among members.
Mouse activity typically increases when breeding commences in spring. By monitoring mouse
activity in the early spring farmers can get ahead to protect their crops and keep a close eye
on changes in mouse populations.
MouseAlert is available to record and monitor mouse activity now at
MouseAlert is being developed by the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre (IA
CRC) in partnership with the Grains Research and Development Corporation, Landcare Research New Zealand, CSIRO, NSW Department of Primary Industries and Primary Industries and
Regions South Australia.

Weed or native? Plant ID drop-in session.

Local botanists will be identifying your mystery plants at a free drop-in session at the
Castlemaine Library foyer on Saturday 6th September from 10am - 2pm.
There will also be a display of useful resources for plant identification, including books
that are available in the library and some local identification brochures to take away.

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Church News
125th Anniversary Celebration and De-consecration: Sunday 19th October at 2pm
In the last Axe Creek News we shared the sad news that St Stephens in Emu Creek was no
longer in use for public services. The future of the site is yet to be determined although it seems
likely that it will be put up for sale in the near future. All locals are warmly invited to join with
Bishop Andrew Curnow and the St Stephens congregation for this important event.
The St Stephens congregation has now joined with the Strathfieldsaye Uniting Church Sunday
9am congregation for weekly services (at 920 Wellington Street). Along with the Strathfieldsaye
Family Church (Saturday 5pm) this partnership will be even stronger in 2015 when we come
together under the name of the Strathfieldsaye Community Church. Stay tuned for further
Strathfieldsaye Kids Fun Day: Friday October 3rd 10am to 3.30pm
Instead of our usual Holiday Program in October, this year we are running a one day activity for
kids on the last Friday of the school holidays. This will be all the fun and action of our regular
multi-day program packed into one awesome day! There will be fun games to play, craft
activities to make, silly songs to sing, friendly leaders to meet, and stories all about families and
how special they are! Look for the posters and information on the community notice board at
Strathfieldsaye IGA, or look us up on Facebook: The Strathfieldsaye Church .
Playgroup Strathfieldsaye: Wednesdays 9.30am to 11am (during school terms)
Kerrie runs our local Playgroup Strathfieldsaye at Strathfieldsaye Uniting on Wednesday mornings, and our helpers make a great cuppa, love a chat and are really friendly! Open to any
parents of pre-school children (from newborns up), check out the Facebook page: Playgroup
Strathfieldsaye .
Mens Breakfast: First Saturday every month 7.30am

Each month the Strathfieldsaye Church hosts a mens breakfast where we eat, talk and hear an
interesting speaker. In recent months we have heard from an Antarctic tourist, a manufacturing
company leader and survival story through a medical emergency. We actively support the
Eaglehawk Our Shed through a gold coin donation. All men are welcome to join us!
Strathfieldsaye Community Carols: Wednesday December 10th
Already?! Yes! The Carols are being planned for this year and we look forward to providing
another memorable experience for the local community. Put the 10th December (evening) in
your diaries for a time of singing, sausages and kids activities.
Did you know? Rev. Steve Weickhardt is the local full-time Church Minister for this district? He
is an Anglican Priest in the Anglican Diocese of Bendigo and working with the Strathfieldsaye
Uniting Church, and leads the Family Church in Strathfieldsaye. If you have any questions about
Christianity, or would like prayer, or are interested in knowing more about the local Church, you
can contact Steve on 5439 4817, or at .

Issue 44


Community News

email us at

Community Gamelan group

Mugi Rahayu is your local gamelan (Javanese music and dance) group. We are from
Eppalock and we practice weekly and perform at various cultural events and fundraisers around the district. No experience required and its free.
New members Welcome
Practice every Sunday 2:00 pm at 101 Carneys Rd, Eppalock.
Contact Nita or Aaron on: 54392678

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Kids Corner
Build your own worm farm
Children will love building a worm farm and learning how to look after their worms. Here's
What you need:
Wooden container
1kg of worms
Cover (such as an old carpet)
To build a worm farm use a wooden container.
Drill small holes in the bottom and sides of the wooden container for air and drainage.
Place the container on bricks for air.
Place a tray underneath the worm farm to capture any excess moisture.
Shred the newspaper wet it and place moist layers inside the box. Fill the box threequarters full with wet shredded newspaper.
Add a handful of soil for grit for the worm's digestion and some worms.
Cover the worm farm box with an old
carpet or wet newspaper to provide
darkness for the worms and maintain
a constant moisture level.
During a period of two to three
months, the worms will eat food waste
and produce a rich soil conditioner
which can be used in your garden.

How to care for your worms:

Feed worms food scraps in little pieces
buried in the worm farm.
Do not feed them citrus fruits or meat
(can lead to bad smells and maggots)
or onions.
Too much food will result in bad odours.
Make sure that the worms are eating
what you are putting into the bin, before adding more.
The bedding must remain not too dry
and not too wet.

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